Breast reduction is a procedure that removes excess fat and glandular tissue from the breasts in order to reach a size that is proportionate to other parts of the body. Also known as a reduction mammoplasty, breast reduction is equally useful for those who experience discomfort from overly large breasts. The weight of excess breast tissue can not only lead to physical issues, such as back problems and neck pain, but also emotional problems related to self-image and confidence.
If your breasts are overly large or overdeveloped to the point that they limit your physical activity, cause chronic pain, or are detrimental to your emotional wellbeing, you may be a candidate for breast reduction surgery.
The ideal candidates are in physically good health, non-smokers, and do not have any medical conditions that may affect the healing process. If you are uncertain whether or not breast reduction surgery is a viable option for you, schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon that is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
When you schedule a consultation with the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago, a board-certified plastic surgeon will meet with you to discuss your aesthetic goals. You and your surgeon will review your medical history to see if you are a good candidate for a breast reduction. Be prepared to discuss any medications you are on, past surgeries, results of mammograms, and if your family history involves a risk of breast cancer.
Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your overall health and take measurements of your upper body to ascertain the size, shape, and skin quality of your breasts. Photographs are usually taken at this stage so that your plastic surgeon can perform a full evaluation and work with you to determine the best course of treatment to reach your ideal aesthetic goals.
Your plastic surgeon will recommend a course of treatment that is best for you and, if possible, present you with options. If you have any questions or concerns about the procedure, including recovery or potential risks, they should be discussed during the consultation.
Breast reduction surgery is performed by removing excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts through surgical incisions. To begin, a general anesthetic is administered; then, the plastic surgeon makes incisions based on the desired results of the procedure. Typically, the incision sites are around the areola and include a vertical and/or horizontal incision at the fold underneath the breast (inframammary fold).
After the incisions are made, the underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted, and shaped. The nipple and areola may need to be repositioned to a higher place on the breast for improved symmetry. In some cases, excess fat is removed by liposuction. Loose or excess skin may be removed to accommodate the now smaller breasts.
Sutures are layered within the breast tissue to help support the newly shaped breasts, and then the skin incisions are closed. The results of breast reduction will be apparent immediately following the procedure.
Swelling and bruising of the breasts and incision sites are normal in the weeks following the procedure. A drain may be placed at the incision sites after surgery to remove any excess fluid. Usually an elastic bandage or surgical bra is necessary to maintain support while the breasts heal.
Your plastic surgeon will prescribe pain medication and issue post-surgical care instructions to ensure a safe recovery. You should avoid any rigorous exercise or exertion until your doctor clears you to return to your normal level of activity.
Though the risks associated with breast reduction surgery are infrequent, any surgical procedure comes with potential complications. The risks associated with breast reduction may include:
- Hematoma (blood clot)
- Changes in breast or nipple sensation
- Unfavorable scarring
- Breast asymmetry
The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago takes every measure to minimize risk by using only the safest, most innovative techniques in aesthetic breast surgery. You can also reduce potential complications by carefully following all instructions from your plastic surgeon, both before and after the procedure.
The average cost of breast reduction surgery in the United States is around $5,600, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The cost will vary, however, based on a number of factors, including but not limited to your geographic location, the plastic surgeon performing the procedure, and the extent of the necessary corrections.
Some health insurance providers will not cover the expense of breast reduction surgery. Be sure to speak with your plastic surgeon about all associated costs and payment options during your consultation.
If you believe that you are a candidate for a breast reduction, contact us at the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago to schedule a consultation. A board-certified plastic surgeon will talk with you about your aesthetic goals and discuss all treatment options available. We are as committed to patient education as we are to excellent patient care, and will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have about breast reduction surgery.
All surgical procedures by the Plastic Surgery Clinic of Chicago are performed at top hospitals in Chicago and CMS or AAAASF-certified surgical centers for safety.